Southeast Asia Cruise on Star Clipper: Part 1
My itinerary was a seven-night Southeast Asia cruise, which sailed from Phuket to the islands of Koh Surin, Ko Similan, Ko Rok Nok, Langkawi, and Ko Kradan and ended in the stunning Ao Phang Nga Bay. Southeast Asia comprises one of the southern provinces of Thailand, which consists of the country’s largest island of Phuket, along with 33 smaller islands off its coast. It lies off the west coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea.
The Star Clipper is a four-mast ship that mostly depends on winds to arrive to the next destination. It carried only 170 guests and had the intimate and casualness of close friends sailing on a personal yacht.
This way of cruising gave me an appreciation of how simple and intimate travel used to be and how something as simple as the sounds of the wind and the ship can ease all of life’s worries. Many other cruise companies offer significantly larger ships with capacities averaging of over 3,000 passengers. In comparison to the intimateness of the Star Clipper, the bartender knew all our names and drinks by the second night, as well as all the officers and the very gregarious crew members. It really was a cruise like no other.
Mornings were an extremely relaxing time of the day with filling up at the breakfast buffet while the Star Clipper gently sailed to the next island. A continental breakfast with croissants, toasted English muffins, and sweet Danish pastries were served each morning. Full breakfast with fresh tropical fruits, crisp bacon, grilled sausage, smoked salmon, and omelets were also served, cooked to order, in the dining room.
Afternoons were spent taking tender boats to empty beaches with sand as soft as powder. Snorkeling can often be done right off the beach with schools of fish all around you.
Snorkeling gear is complimentary as well as all water sports like kayaking, standup paddle boarding, and kite surfing. Water skiing and scuba diving is additional, and a full-time dive master is onboard every sailing. Fish in hues of blue, black, yellow, pink and green were all around me. At some points I found myself screaming while snorkeling and pointing to the fish out of sheer excitement.
I was surrounded by Clown Anemone Fish, Moorish Idols, Rainbow Parrotfish, Powder Blue Surgeonfish, and so many more I just could not identify but will remember forever.